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WJA Names Awards for Excellence Honorees

Varda Shine to receive the Hall of Fame lifetime achievement award
Jan 28, 2011 1:50 PM   By Denise Romano
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RAPAPORT... The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) announced its Hall of Fame honorees for the annual “Awards for Excellence” gala, which will be held July 25, 2011, at Chelsea Piers in New York City. WJA will award Varda Shine, managing director of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), with the Hall of Fame lifetime achievement award. Matt Stuller, founder of Stuller Inc., will be honored with the WJA Ben Kaiser award and retailer Helzberg Diamonds will receive WJA's corporate award for excellence.

Shine said, “Happily, I believe we are now seeing more opportunities opening up for women in the diamond world and I am proud that De Beers has recognized and embraced the value that women can add in this industry, as evidenced by the fact that two of the six major businesses in the De Beers family now have women as chief executives. We still have a long way to go but I am hugely honored to be recognized by my female peers in the jewelry industry and am proud to be keeping such esteemed, and glamorous, company.”

Stuller built a manufacturing brand that carries his name into a facility that now produces 340,000 jewelry-related products.  The Lafayette, Louisiana-based firm and its subsidiaries employ 2,000 people on three continents and is a DTC sightholder.

Helzberg Diamonds was founded in 1915 and has 230 stores.  Beryl Raff, chairman of the jewelry chain, said,  “Helzberg Diamonds has a rich history of leadership in the jewelry industry and our commitment to the professional development and advancement of female associates is no exception. The entire team at Helzberg is honored to receive this recognition.”

Kendra Bridel Weinman, WJA president, commented, “We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to award these three deserving recipients. These individuals and their organizations perfectly embody our mission as an organization—to empower women to reach their greatest potential.”
Tags: Denise Romano, Helzberg Diamonds, Varda Shine, Women's Jewelry Association
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